Why is it that when you least expect it your child asks you are a profound theological question?
While driving home from a violin lesson via Hannaford's on route to pick up Maeve, all while trying to dodge a thunderstorm, Hilde says from the back seat,
"Mom, do you think God is offended when we say He is a girl?"
Hmm, give me a minute to drive through the light and not get hit by the man who obviously didn't see the white Honda with it's head lights on making it's way through the green light.
Is God offended when we call Him a girl?
These are the times when being a Christian Educator should come in handy. I should be prepared to answer questions like this. It's what I do for a living. I tell children about God. Heck, I train people to tell children about God.
Well, to be honest, I didn't really know how to answer this. Was she looking for a quick explaination or did she want the gamut of theological responses to this? Did she think it's bad to be called a girl? Was this a religous question or a feminist one?
One thing I always try to do it never give the girls a pat answer. I lay all the views out for them and then tell them people can think different things, but this is what I think and why.
However, I was driving and kind of pre-occupied and I wanted to just say, "No, He is not."
I couldn't however go with the easy response. It's just not in me.
So, I did a quick overview of how God is not really male or female, He is spirit and has characteristics of both. Really we, men and women, reflect differently the characteristics of God. However, generally in grammar when you don't know the gender of the person, you default to the masculine, so maybe that is part of why we call God "He" and the Bible does refer to Him as God the Father, but when you read about His character, He obviously has female qualities. So, really God is neither male or female and I don't think he is offended when we call him a girl, because He created men and women in His image, so He must like girls.
I thought that was a pretty good theology lesson with a side of grammar and female empowerment thrown in. We also made it home in time to put the groceries in the fridge and back to the Y to pick up Maeve with two minutes to spare and we dodged the rain.
Did I mention I did all this while driving a standard?